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American Public Education and the Responsibility of its CitizensSupporting Democracy in the Age of Accountability$
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Sarah M. Stitzlein

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190657383

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190657383.001.0001

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Our Schools, Our Responsibility, Our Democracy

Our Schools, Our Responsibility, Our Democracy

(p.93) 5 Our Schools, Our Responsibility, Our Democracy
American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens

Sarah M. Stitzlein

Oxford University Press

eIn chapter five, I distinguish accountability from responsibility. Accountability is a backward-looking justification of fulfilling public demands, while responsibility is a forward-moving commitment to democracy, motivated by care for other citizens and carried out through social and political action. I therefore shift the focus from the accountability requirements of schools to the responsibility obligations of citizens. I contend that as democratic citizens, we have a responsibility to ensure that the practices, institutions, and ways of life that sustain democracy are preserved and nurtured. I claim that this is perhaps most achievable in public schools. Therefore, in order to preserve and improve democracy for future generations, citizens have a responsibility to protect and support public schools. I conclude that our current educational crisis of accountability is, in significant part, a failure of citizens and should be seen as a call to responsibility, action, and support for our public schools.

Keywords:   Neoliberal responsibility, accountability, responsibility of citizens, accountability crisis, Public schools

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